Gennady Aleshin has outlined the work Russia has supposedly done to improve its anti-doping regime ©ROC

Russia has increased its campaign to have its suspension from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) lifted ahead of the decisive Council meeting here on Friday (June 17).

In a 1,600 word message posted on the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) website, the chair of the panel responsible for resolving the country's doping problems, Gennady Aleshin, claimed that international criticism of the improvements they have made has “nothing to do with the objective picture”.

A video has also been circulated by Russian athletes, who claim to be clean, pleading for the IAAF not to punish them for the crimes of others by forcing them to sit out this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

A letter has also been written by the Athletes' Commission of the ROC.

Aleshin, a former President of the Russian Swimming Federation, chairs the Coordination Committee set-up after the All-Russia Athletic Association (ARAF) was suspended from the IAAF last year in order to address doping problems.

He claims there has been “daily, intensive and unprecedented” work undertaken to tackle the 44 “serious and strict” criteria imposed by the IAAF which must be addressed if the ban is to be lifted.

IAAF Task Force chaired by Rune Andersen, right, will deliver a report on whether Russia has improved its anti-doping programme to the IAAF Council, chaired by Sebastian Coe, at a meeting in Vienna ©Getty Images
An IAAF Task Force, chaired by Rune Andersen, right, will deliver a report on whether Russia has improved its anti-doping programme to the IAAF Council, chaired by Sebastian Coe, at a meeting in Vienna ©Getty Images

“We divided them into three groups,” Aleshin said.

“Structural changes in the ARAF, which would make it impossible to return to the past of doping; disciplinary punishments for all those involved in doping scandals; the creation of ideological and legal conditions for the elimination of doping in Russian athletics.”

He claimed that all those involved in the previous system - accused of being “state-supported and systemic” by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission - have been punished.

A long-list of 190 Russian athletes who could potentially compete at Rio 2016 have had to pass three doping tests at laboratories determined by the IAAF, with Russian authorities having covered the costs necessary for this.

Any athletes implicated in doping scandals will not be considered, a decision over which Aleshin admits to have “different views” but concedes is necessary to “avoid any scandals“.

“If the Russian team will travel to the Games in Rio, it will be crystal clear, without a shadow of any suspicion,” he wrote.

German Athletics Federation President Clemens Prokop is among international officials who have called for Russia to remain banned.

“There have been a lot of emotional messages, designed for the public, but [they] have nothing to do with [the] objective picture,” said Aleshin.

“It is absurd to hear that the Russian athletics there is now a fully-fledged doping control.

“People who claim this do not know what is happening, or turn a blind eye to reality.”

There are concerns over whether many of those complicit in the previous regime are really no longer involved and whether a rigorous anti-doping system has really been installed - or if "clean athletes" from other countries will be harmed by a Russian presence.

Russian athletes have threatened legal action if the ban is not lifted and it remains possible that they could still be permitted to compete - possibly as independent athletes - when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) holds a Stakeholders Summit in Lausanne on June 21.

This meeting will try to find a way to differentiate between “collective responsibility and individual justice”.

In the YouTube video, the question: “What would you say to dirty athletes?” is displayed before a series of responses from athletes.

A total of five athletes - 400 metres hurdlers Timofey Chalyy and Vera Rudakova, hammer thrower Sergey Litvinov, 110m hurdles world champion Sergey Shubenkov and high jump counterpart Mariya Kuchina - all criticise those who doped.

"We are addressing you as the head of an organization tasked with protecting the rights of athletes clean of doping that does everything to fulfill this responsibility," added the Russian Olympic Committee Athletes' Committee in a letter addressed to IOC President Thomas Bach.

"The right of any athlete who has never violated any existing rules to take part in the Olympic Games is inviolable.

"We are wholeheartedly asking for your support in upholding this right."

The Open Letter, accessible in full below, makes similar points, arguing that the "right of any athlete who has never violated any of the existing rules, to perform at the Olympic Games is unviolable".

It is signed by a group of 13 athletes, including bobsledder Alexander Zubkov, the Olympic champion accused of doping his way to gold in Sochi by former Moscow Laboratory head, Grigory Rodchenkov,

Another to sign is figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova, who failed a test for meldonium earlier this year.

All of these protestations of innocence must be considered more sceptically after the damning WADA report released today, which highlighted profound and wide-ranging problems remaining with Russian testing procedures.

 Open Letter - Athletes to IOC (002).docx